Accuracy in judgments of aggressiveness

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007 Sep;33(9):1225-36. doi: 10.1177/0146167207303026. Epub 2007 Jun 15.


Perceivers are both accurate and biased in their understanding of others. Past research has distinguished between three types of accuracy: generalized accuracy, a perceiver's accuracy about how a target interacts with others in general; perceiver accuracy, a perceiver's view of others corresponding with how the perceiver is treated by others in general; and dyadic accuracy, a perceiver's accuracy about a target when interacting with that target. Researchers have proposed that there should be more dyadic than other forms of accuracy among well-acquainted individuals because of the pragmatic utility of forecasting the behavior of interaction partners. We examined behavioral aggression among well-acquainted peers. A total of 116 9-year-old boys rated how aggressive their classmates were toward other classmates. Subsequently, 11 groups of 6 boys each interacted in play groups, during which observations of aggression were made. Analyses indicated strong generalized accuracy yet little dyadic and perceiver accuracy.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Prejudice
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • United States
  • Videotape Recording
  • Violence / psychology